Film fans everywhere are encouraged to mark their calendars and save the dates for the 15th annual Milwaukee Film Festival, which will take place April 20-May 4, 2023.  MFF23 Call For Entries is open to feature and short films with a completed production date after January 1, 2021.

For all questions related to submissions, please see our Rules & Terms or email

Submissions are always free for local filmmakers! Fill out the form linked under Rules & Terms before you submit to our Cream City Cinema category.

We thank you for sharing your films with us!

Milwaukee Film, in its ongoing efforts to inspire and promote filmmaking in southeastern Wisconsin, offers various awards to locally made films. Films selected to screen in competition for these awards will be notified in advance of the festival.

In addition, two audience awards, presented by Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig, are given to the top-rated short- and feature-length films in the festival based on audience ratings.

All filmmakers or other film-rights holders who submit films for consideration for MFF23 must do so using FilmFreeway. As FilmFreeway users, all Applicants, therefore, agree to be bound by the FilmFreeway Terms of Service for Filmmakers, Screenwriters, and Non-Festivals ( If any provisions of these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions conflict with the FilmFreeway Terms of Service, then these Filmmaker Terms and Conditions will control.

All films submitted to FilmFreeway must be in the form of an online screener or Vimeo link. If a link is password protected, then the password must be valid through March 23, 2023, otherwise, your submission will be considered INVALID and will be DISQUALIFIED with no entry-fee refund.

Milwaukee Film reserves the right to determine eligibility of any work submitted.

Filmmakers may only submit one film for consideration.

Only productions completed after January 1, 2021 may be submitted.

There is no premiere status required for the Milwaukee Film Festival.

Works in progress, industrial, and instructional works are not eligible.

Accepted films may NOT screen publicly (theatrical, festival, or event-type screenings) in Milwaukee County after January 1, 2023. Milwaukee Film reserves the right to exclude films that violate this screenings embargo from the festival.

Public screenings in the Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Walworth, or Washington counties prior to April 20, 2023 may affect programming decisions.

To be eligible for the Cream City Cinema category, the director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, sound editor, or lead actor(s) must reside in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Walworth, or Washington County.

To be eligible for the Cream City Cinema awards, all directors must reside in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Walworth, or Washington County.

All films must be submitted for selection through an online file upload (up to 10GB) or link your video via Vimeo or YouTube.

Accurate statistics are not always recorded using Vimeo’s methods of tracking loads and views. Vimeo videos viewed via a third-party player do not always record statistics in the same way that videos viewed via their direct link in a web browser are counted. If we view your project using the Vimeo app on another streaming device (such as Apple TV or Roku), it is also being viewed via a third-party player. The vast majority of the films submitted to us are viewed in this manner, and therefore the statistics are not counted in the same way that they would be watched via a direct link.

Foreign language films must be made available with the original language soundtrack and English subtitles.

For films invited to screen at the festival, exhibition formats must arrive in Milwaukee no later than Wednesday, March 23, 2023.

Award eligibility will be confirmed at the time of film selection.

The online submission form must be completed by January 26, 2023.

Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry. In addition, entrant will allow usage of images and/or clips from the film for promotional use on television, radio, in print, and at Festival events.

Accepted films will be invited to screen no later than March 23, 2023.

Films not accepted into the festival will be notified by email only by March 23, 2023.

Please add to your list of white-listed senders to assure receipt of this email notification. Due to the number of submissions we receive, Milwaukee Film cannot provide feedback on any entries. No calls, please.

Submission fees for MFF23 increase over time. Early submissions are therefore encouraged. For further details, please see the Dates & Deadlines and Categories & Fees sections on MFF’s FilmFreeway page.

Milwaukee Film is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Fees collected through the Call for Entries process directly compensates our programming staff to review and process film submissions, so please do not request a waiver, unless you meet one of the following requirements:

If you are an Applicant who is also an MFF Alum, meaning that MFF has screened one of your feature or short films in a previous festival, then MFF will waive your submission fee for any film meeting the MFF23 requirements outlined herein.

If you are an Applicant who identifies as LGBTQ, BIPOC, Arab-American, Latinx, AAPI or another disinvested identity group, then MFF will provide a discount code for your submission fee upon request.

If you are an Applicant who qualifies for our Cream City Cinema program, which also includes our Milwaukee Youth Show program, then MFF will waive your submission fee for any film meeting the MFF23 requirements outlined herein.

If you believe you qualify for any of the above, access the form here.

MFF will not honor any requests for submission-fee refunds. Refunds will not be issued to any Applicant for any submission, regardless of selection for MFF23, for any reason, including changes to MFF23’s dates, venues, or format that MFF may announce at any time.

If a film is invited to screen, the following information will be important to have in mind. Submission of work to the festival does not indicate an invitation to screen, the below is provided for informational purposes only.

Exhibition copies of all films and videos screening in the Festival must arrive by Wednesday, March 23, 2023. Detailed technical specs will be provided at the time of booking, to conform with the best possible presentation on our virtual festival platform.

In general:
In person bookings must be screened from a DCP. We can accept HD files via transfer for short films and will convert to DCP for exhibition.

Virtual bookings must be screened from an HD file uploaded to our platform.

For virtual bookings, Milwaukee Film will pay all transcoding fees required by our platform; additional technical fees (file transfers, etc) must be negotiated at the time of booking.

We will expect films to provide files that enable the use of closed-captioning, though exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis at the time of booking
If you have an audio description version of your film available, please let us know at the time of booking.

Milwaukee Film covers inbound shipping costs for all in-person feature film exhibition materials. For short films we anticipate receiving primarily through electronic transfer.

Shipping terms are negotiable at the time of booking only.

Marketing materials must be made available; materials provided to Milwaukee Film for purposes of promotion will not be returned.

​Milwaukee Film values the work of artists and offers to pay screening fees to all films selected to screen in the festival.

Milwaukee Film does not require attendance, but values the time and energy of artists. In addition to complimentary access to films and events, we are able to provide a modest appearance fee and/or cover the cost of travel and lodging to those who give their time to engage with our audiences in substantive ways. Details will be provided when appearance is being planned; this intent to host many guests does not represent an invitation.

Overall Rating
  • Ellie Foumbi

    An incredible festival with the most amazing hospitality!

    May 2023
  • Mira Santo Tomas

    Very kind and helpful staff, and a supportive audience. I will definitely be submitting again.

    May 2023
  • Judith Laster

    Milwaukee FF is a fantastic festival with great film programming and an exemplary focus on independent film and filmmakers. It represents everything that is good about film festivals. We had a wonderful experience and will return whenever we can.

    May 2023
  • Martin Kaszubowski

    Absolutely great festival for filmmakers. Never been to a bad screening!

    May 2023
  • Thanks to the jury and everyone at the Milwaukee Film Festival for the jury award for "Of Wood", and for the overall awesome experience at this year's event. The organizers, staff, and volunteers should be proud of the job they did putting on a world class festival!

    May 2023